The Anonymous Widower

Connecting The Bakerloo Line Extension At Lewisham To The North Kent And Bexleyheath Line

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in the area of Lewisham station.

lewishamlines

Note.

  1. The multi-track line going North-West to South-East is the South Eastern Main Line .
  2. The double-track line going South-West to North-East is the Hayes Line.
  3. The double-track going East are the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines
  4. I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels for the Bakerloo Line Extension will be under the Hayes Line.

The North Kent & Bexleyheath platforms are as follows.

  • Platform 3  is the Up platform
  • Platform 4 is the Down platform

Services running on the lines include.

  • Dartford to London via Platform 3
  • Slade Green to London via Platform 3
  • London to Dartford via Platform 4
  • London to Slade Green via Platform 4

In Connecting The Bakerloo Line Extension At Lewisham To The Hayes Line, I showed that it would be reasonably easy to connect the overrun tunnels for the Bakerloo Line to the Hayes Line.

So could the Bakerloo Line Extension be connected to the North Kent and Bexleyheath Lines?

If the Lewisham Underground station was deep under the current station, it might be possible to create a junction, which would enable the Underground trains to go in the direction of both the Hayes and Bexleyheath Lines.

But having been on a train between Lewisham and Bexleyheath stations, it would appear that there is little space for the Bakerloo Line to emerge from the ground and join the surface railway.

These pictures show the viaduct and other structures that support Platforms 1 and 2 at Lewisham station.

The pictures seem to confirm that linking to a line under Lewisham station would be extremely difficult and very expensive, and would require a long closure of the North Kent and Bexleyheath Lines through Lewsiham.

If this is the case, this must mean that the Hayes Line is the only place, where the Bakerloo Line can go.

 

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | 2 Comments

The Truly Dreadful Platform-Train Access At Lewisham Station

These pictures show the truly dreadful platform-train access at Lewisham station.

I should say there is even worse access at the front of platform 2.

 

I should say that Lewisham station has lifts, which are welcome. But it seems to me that if you’re putting in lifts, you should probably fix the station, so that someone in a wheelchair, should be able to wheel themselves on and off the train.

It’s all down to the long, curved platforms.

Surely, if they rebuild this station for the Bakerloo Line Extension, then these platforms will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Connecting The Bakerloo Line Extension At Lewisham To The Hayes Line

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in the area of Lewisham station.

lewishamlines

Note.

  1. The multi-track line going North-West to South-East is the South Eastern Main Line .
  2. The double-track line going South-West to North-East is the Hayes Line.
  3. The double-track going East are the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines
  4. I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels for the Bakerloo Line Extension will be under the Hayes Line.

The platforms are as follows.

  • Platform 1  is the Up platform on the Hayes Line.
  • Platform 2 is the Down platform on the Hayes Line.
  • Platform 3  is the Up platform on the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines.
  • Platform 4 is the Down platform on the North Kent & Bexleyheath Lines.

They are numbered from bottom to top in the map.

Services running through the area include.

  • Slow London to Hayes via Platform 1
  • London to Orpington via Platform 1 and the Courthill Loop
  • Slow Hayes to London via Platform 2
  • Orpington to London via the Courthill Loop and Platform 2.
  • Dartford to London via Platform 3
  • Slade Green to London via Platform 3
  • London to Dartford via Platform 4
  • London to Slade Green via Platform 4
  • Fast London to Hayes via the Ladywell Loop
  • Fast Hayes to London via the Ladywell Loop

If the Hayes Line were to be directly connected to the Bakerloo Line Extension, some services would be difficult to run.

But suppose the tunnels were connected to the Hayes Line between Courthill Loop North Junction and Ladywell Junction, the following services would still be possible.

  • London to Orpington via Platform 1 and the Courthill Loop
  • Orpington to London via the Courthill Loop and Platform2.
  • Fast London to Hayes via the Ladywell Loop
  • Fast Hayes to London via the Ladywell Loop

The slow services between London and Hayes would use the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Services On The Hayes Line

Currently, there are two trains per hour (tph) to both Charing Cross and Cannon Street. Some fast services avoid Lewisham, but all services stop at London Bridge.

In the Wikipedia entry for Hayes station, this is said.

In 2004, the Strategic Rail Authority proposed withdrawing services to Charing Cross from the Hayes Line. Following a campaign led by local Councillors and the Hayes Village Association, the plans were withdrawn.

So the locals have form in getting what they want.

Intriguingly, Charing Cross station has two Underground stations; Embankment and Charing Cross, on the Bakerloo Line.

But it will surely lose some of the National Rail services, if Hayes station becomes part of the Underground.

Some must stay, as if all were discontinued, getting to the City could mean a roundabout route and I suspect another campaign would be started by the good burghers of Hayes.

In Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London, I felt that changing to a conventional three-rail electrification could be possible on the deep-level Underground lines.

At Hayes station, it would enable both National Rail and Underground services to both serve the station.

The design of the new Tube for London could well sort out that problem!

Beckenham Junction

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows Beckenham Junction station and its connection to the Hayes Line at New Beckenham station.

In some ways Beckenham Junction station would make a good terminus for the Bakerloo Line Extension.

  • Platform 1  could be converted to use by the Underground.
  • There is a four tph service between Victoria and Bromley South stations.
  • There is a two-platform station for Tramlink.

But would the flat New Beckenham Junction, where trains join the Hayes Line, have the capacity to handle all the trains and Tubes, going hither and thither?

At the very least use of Beckenham Junction as a terminal for the Bakerloo Line, would need a lot of innovative thinking.

In Could Beckenham Junction To Birkbeck Be Run Using Third-Rail Tram-Trains?, I proposed using tram-trains with a third-rail capability.

This would allow the Birkbeck to Beckenham Junction section of the route to become a conventional railway again and have a higher capacity.

This was my conclusion in the post.

By replacing the trams to Beckenham Junction station with tram-trains, capable of running on both 750 VDC types of electrification and with a limited battery capabilty, would simplify operation at Beckhenham Junction and enable Tramlink services to be extended to Bromley South station.

The collateral benefit, is that Bromley town centre could get a Tramlink connection.

Going East from Beckenham Junction station, the track is only double, but if the New Tubes for London were fast enough, they could gp on to Bromley South station.

 

 

 

 

October 7, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Will The Extended Bakerloo Line Be Twenty-Seven Trains Per Hour All The Way?

There are two major projects that will be implemented on the Bakerloo Line in the next decade or two.

I certainly feel, that the two projects will bring the Bakerloo Line into the twenty-first century

The Planned Train Frequency

Under Current And Future Infrastructure, the Wikipedia entry for the Bakerloo Line says this.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.

Twenty-seven trains per hour (tph) seems very much in line with other deep-level Underground Lines.

  • Central Line – 35 tph
  • Jubilee Line – 30 tph
  • Northern Line – 24 tph for each branch
  • Piccadilly Line – 33 tph after upgrade.
  • Victoria Line – 36 tph

Perhaps, it is a bit lower, but the engineers usually manage to squeeze more out of a line.

The Bakerloo Line Extension To Lewisham

The planning is underway to extend the Bakerloo Line to Lewisham station.

The Bakerloo Line Extension looks like it will be a four-station extension, with interchanges at Elephant & Castle, New Cross and Lewisham.

This map from Transport for London, shows the extension.

I think it will be highly likely, that the extension will be built using a similar design and techniques to that of the Northern Line Extension to Battersea.

  • It will be double-track.
  • There are unlikely to be any junctions.
  • The Lewisham station will have two platforms with overrun tunnels.
  • There appears to be no depot planned.

I have come to some conclusions about the design.

Planned Frequency

If the track layout of the extension and particularly at Lewisham follows the layouts of the Victoria Line termini, I can see no reason, why the proposed frequency of twenty-seven tph can’t be achieved.

I also suspect that provision will be made, so that the frequency can be increased.

A higher frequency would also be expected if the Bakerloo line, were to be further extended to two separate branches, as the map indicates.

Number Of Trains

I suspect that for the extension to work in an optimum manner new trains will be needed.

Project Timescale And Cost

The Northern Line Extension to Battersea appears to be taking about six years from sign-off to completion.

This extension is twice as long and has double the number of stations, but is probably not as grand.

I would put my money on a seven year project and a couple of billion.

As it is unlikely, that the required new trains will not be available until 2033, the project probably has a sign-off date of around 2025.

The project could be pulled forward.

  • The trains could be built after those for the Piccadilly Line.
  • An early decision could be made.

Saying go in 2022 would enable a finish in 2029.

The Northern Section Between Queens Park And Watford Junction

North of Queens Park station, the line is double-track all the way to Watford Junction station.

Queens Park Station

At Queens Park station itself, it’s a lot more complicated.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout at Queens Park station.

Note.

  1. The Watford DC Line of the Overground is shown in orange and runs through Kilburn High Road and Queens Park stations.
  2. The Bakerloo Line is shown in brown and runs through Kilburn Park and Queens Park stations.
  3. There are reversing sidings to the West of Queens Park station for the Bakerloo Line.

The following services go through or terminate at Queens Park station.

  • Three tph between Euston and Watford Junction on the London Overground.
  • Six tph between Harrow & Wealdstone and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Three tph between Stonebridge Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Eleven tph between Queens Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.

It is also likely that the Overground service will go to four tph.

So this means that services will be as follows.

  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Kilburn High Road station.
  • Twenty tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Kilburn Park station.
  • Nine tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Eleven tph on the Bakerloo Line terminate at Queens Park station.

Thirteen tph will continue to various destinations towards Watford Junction.

What Is The Capacity North Of Queens Park Station?

So how many trains could the double-track line between Queens Park and Wartford Junction stations handle?

Consider.

  • All services on the line are london Overground or London Underground.
  • There are no junctions, where services divide and join.
  • There is a turnback facility at Harrow & Wealdstone station, that can handle six tph.
  • The Overground trains are being replaced with Class 710 trains, which must be able to be made compatible with digital signalling.
  • Watford Junction station has four platforms connected to the Watford DC Line.
  • Good design should be able to make the stations step-free for both Class 710 trains and New Tube for London.
  • The Watford DC Line service, always seems to terminate in platform 9 at Euston.
  • London Underground have run thirty-six tph on the Victoria Line for about a year now.

I suspect that if the trains are digitally signalled, with a degree of Automatic Train Control, that there could be as many as thirty-six tph between Queens Park and Watford Junction stations.

I also think it is significant that the New Tube for London, specifies that the Bakerloo Line will run at twenty-seven tph. Why not more, if the theoretical capacity North of Queens Park is thirty-six tph?

But a single platform at Euston can probably handle six tph, so add 27 and 6 and you get thirty-three tph, which is the proposed core frequency of the Piccadilly Line.

Will The Bakerloo Line Run All The Way To Watford Junction?

Suppose too, that all Bakerloo services ran all the way to Watford Junction, as has been proposed in the past.

  • This would simplify operation and especially at Queens Park, Stonebridge Park and Harrow & Wealdstone stations.
  • Digital signalling would easily handle the frequency.
  • The platform arrangement at Queens Park would be unchanged, with Euston services on the outside and Bakerloo services in the middle.

Watford Junction would have superb thirty-three tph service to two destinations in London.

Will The New Tube for London Run The Euston Service?

I will speculate, that the Watford DC Line service could be run by New Tubes for London..

  • One type of train would be easier to handle for staff and passengers.
  • All platform heights could be the same.
  • All services would be step-free between train and platform.
  • Digital signalling could easily handle thirty-three tph along the shared route.

In Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London, I proposed that the New Tube for London could run on a conventional third-rail system.

This would further mean the following for the Bakerloo Line.

  • New Tubes for London could use the existing track to access Euston, without serious modification.
  • If the Bakerloo Line is extended to Hayes, Beckenham Junction or Bromley North stations, the existing tracks could continue to handle existing third-rail trains to provide other services.
  • Only one type of train would be needed to run all services on the Bakerloo Line to its various destinations.

Use of New Tubes for London on all routes may be possible to create a service on the Northern section of the Bakerloo Line with the following characteristics.

  • Twenty-seven tph between Watford Junction and Elephant & Castle stations.
  • Six tph between Watford Junction and Euston stations.
  • All stations would be step-free between platform and train.
  • All trains would be identical New Tubes for London.
  • All trains would run under Automatic Train Control, as does the Victoria Line.

All passengers on the existing Bakerloo and Watford DC Lines would see a better service.

The Bakerloo Line Extension to Lewisham

Note, that I have said nothing about the Bakerloo Extension to Lewisham.

In my view, that extension does what it says on the tin and creates a new twenty-seven tph service between Elephant & Castle and Lewisham stations, which brings new services to an area of South-East London, where they are much needed.

Effectively, the Bakerloo Line would become two twenty-seven tph lines, that happen to connect back-to-back at Elephant & Castle station to enable cross-London journeys.

Could Bakerloo Line Services Still Be Turned Back At Harrow & Wealdstone?

The following could be argued.

  • Watford Junction doesn’t need twenty-seven tph on the Bakerloo Line and six tph to Euston.
  • Watford needs a cross-Watford service like the in-limbo Croxley Rail Link.

So could a few trains be turned back using the existing facility at Harrow & Wealdston station to create paths to allow an appropriate service between say Watford Junction and Amersham stations?

More Frequent Services

If we look at the Victoria Line, where the frequency has increased over the last few years by the addition of various improvements, I would not be surprised to see the frequency of twenty-seven tph increased.

After all London Underground’s engineers have been squeezing Dear Old Vicky for half a century, so they must know more tricks, than Paul Daniels knew at the peak of his success.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, the New Tube for London could run at twenty-seven tph all the way between Watford Junction to Lewisham stations.

Whether that frequency is needed all the way is another matter.

 

October 7, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The Bakerloo Line Extension

It is being proposed that the Bakerloo Line be extended to South East London.

  • There will be two new stations on the Old Kent Road.
  • There will be a connection to the existing New Cross Gate station.
  • The extension will terminate at Lewisham station.
  • The extension will be totally underground.
  • Provision will be made to extend the line further.

Almost nothing has been said about the frequency of trains on the line, stabling arrangements for the trains or what happens in the North.

The Train Frequency

Wikipedia gives the current off-peak services on Bakerloo line as.

  • 6 tph (trains per hour) from Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle
  • 3 tph from Stonebridge Park to Elephant & Castle
  • 11 tph from Queen’s Park to Elephant & Castle

This forms a 20 tph service (or a train every 3 minutes) between Queen’s Park and Elephant & Castle.

New Trains And Signalling On The Bakerloo Line

As there will be new modern signalling and new trains on the Bakerloo Line in the future, are Transport for London relying on these to increase the frequency of trains.

Currently, there are thirty-three trains in service and according to the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, these will be replaced with forty new trains, which will give a twenty-five percent capacity increase.

As the Northern and Jubilee Lines run at 27 tph, with modern signalling and newer rolling stock, I suspect that at least this train frequency could be achievable.

Depots And Sidings

The Bakerloo Line has three depots.

London Road

London Road depot is located between Lambeth North and Elephant and Castle stations.

This Google Map shows the location of the depot.

It is the V-shaped site, just below the roundabout, at the top of the map, where London Road, Westminster Bridge Road and Borough Road meet.

However good this depot is for servicing trains, it strikes me that it is in a location, where land is very expensive.

I think one of two things will happen.

  1. The depot will be closed and the land given over to development.
  2. The depot will be rebuilt and there will be housing or commercial development on top.

If the latter happens, it is probably an affordable way to get a modern depot. White City depot on the Central Line is already under property development.

Stonebridge Park

Stonebridge Park Depot is relatively modern and is located to the North of Stonebridge Park station.

This Google Map shows the location of the depot.

Because of its young age and size, the only thing likely to happen at Stonebridge Park would be some modernisation for the new trains and a possible appropriate increase in capacity.

Queen’s Park

Queens Park Depot is not large and is effectively two sheds either side of Queens Park station.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout at Queens Park station.

Note.

  1. The North and South Sheds.
  2. The cross-platform interchange between the Watford DC Line and the Bakerloo Line.
  3. The platforms on the main lines are not operational at present, but may be so in the future.

Compared to the other two depots, Queens Park would appear to be less important.

I suspect though, that Transport for London have plans to improve operations at Queens Park.

Conclusion

The following should be noted.

  • The new trains will probably, be the same length as current trains.
  • But as there are going to be 40 instead of 33, more space will be needed.
  • A rebuilt London Road depot with housing and/or commercial development on top, could raise a substantial sum.
  • There is space for extra sidings at Stonebridge Park depot.
  • There will be turnround sidings on the extension to Lewisham in the overrun tunnels, which is standard London Underground practice.
  • The new trains should need less maintenance than the current nearly fifty-year-old 1972 Stock trains.

I think by some clever design, that the extra seven extra new trains will be incorporated in the two major depots of Stonebridge Park and London Road, with some help from Lewisham and Queens Park.

North Of Queens Park

These are various points and issues.

Queens Park Station

Queens Park station is a six platform station.

  • Two platforms for the Watford DC Line
  • Two platforms for the Bakerloo Line
  • Two unused platforms for the slow lines into Euston station.

There is an excellent cross-platform interchange between the Wstford DC and Bakerloo Lines, which is level between train and platform.

Wikipedia also says this about the station.

Queen’s Park is planned to become a step-free station and the project will be completed in 2019.

I visited the station this morning and saw no work in progress.

This picture shows the station’s rudimentary nature.

Opposite the station is a typical new block of housing, with a Marks and Spencer Simply Food store underneath.

So perhaps a developer will build some much needed housing.

  • Underneath would be a much-improved station, with full step-free access.
  • There could be some retail units.
  • They might even rebuild the sheds of the depot, that I mentioned earlier to improve the operation of the trains.
  • The two disused platforms could be refurbished.

These pictures show the platforms.

This project could be carried out independently of the Bakerloo Line Extension.

The Bakerloo And Watford DC Lines Share Tracks

Between Queens Park and Harrow and Wealdstone stations, the two lines share tracks, with trains calling at eight intermediate stations.

Current Bakerloo Line frequencies are.

  • 9 tph between Stonebridge Park and Harrow and Wealdstone
  • 12 tph between Queens Park and Stonebridge Park.

In addition, there are three tph on the London Overground between Queens Park and Watford Junction.

This arrangement means that passengers between Queens Park and Watford Junction stations have a flexible route to and from London, with a choice of Euston or Central London termini.

The Watford DC Line Fleet Is Being Changed

London Overground are replacing the current five-car Class 378 trains on the Watford DC Line with four-car  Class 710 trains.

This might seem to be a reduction in capacity, but it is part of a cunning plan.

  • The Class 378 trains will go to the East London Line, to enhance services.
  • It means that London Overground can maintain all the dual-voltage Class 710 trains at Willesden TMD.
  • Class 710 trains can’t work the East London Line, as they have no end doors for tunnels.

To compensate for the shorter trains, the frequency on the Watford DC Line will be raised from three to four tph.

The Watford DC Line will actually get a small capacity increase from fifteen carriages per hour to sixteen, with a much more passenger-friendly frequency of a new train, which may be slightly faster, every fifteen minutes.

But there is also a nugget in the tail.

The Watford DC Line currently handles five-car Class 387 trains. So if in a few years there is a need for more capacity, the Class 710 trains could be lengthened by adding a fifth carriage.

Given too, that there could be a lot of resignalling on this line, in conjunction with the Bakerloo Line extension and the new Bakerloo Line trains, I would not be surprised if train frequency and/or length on the Watford DC Line were to be increased again.

The Platform Height Problem On The Shared Platforms

These pictures show some of the platform height problems  on the platforms shared by Bakerloo and Watford DC Line trains.

The interchange at Queens Park station is level between both trains and the platform.

Both the Class 710 trains and the new Bakerloo Line trains will be walk-through, which will ease the design of an acceptable dual-height platform, when both new trains are in service. Passengers will be able to walk up and down to find a seat or a convenient place to exit.

One solution to the height proble, would be to lower the platform, so that it is level with the height of the new Bakerloo Line trains.

A hump similar to a Harrington Hump could be added at a convenient point.

This picture shows two well-designed humps at Canonbury station.

The humps on the Watford DC Line, would be sized as follows.

  • Height would allow level access to a Class 710 train.
  • Width would be determined by safety.
  • Length would probably be sized to fit two cars, which would be 40 metres.

The humps would be placed at an appropriate point on the platforms, which are long enough to take the current 113 metre long 72 Stock trains.

  • Drivers of Class 710 trains, would stop, so that, cars 2 and 3 were aligned with the hump.
  • Drivers of Bakerloo Line trains would stop, so they had the hump in the middle of the train.

Doors would then only open, where the access from train to platform was level.

All this would probably be handled automatically, with the driver monitoring everything.

It’s almost as if the trains had their own built-in platform-edge doors, which would ensure that safety was at least as good as it is now.

Will The New Class 710 Trains Reduce Timings On The Watford DC Line?

Conclusion

Everything published about the proposed Bakerloo Line Extension, does not mention the following.

  • Trains and their frequency
  • Depots
  • What happens North of Queens Park station.

Until proven otherwise, there seems to be few difficult problems, that effect the building of the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Modernising the line and building the extension would appear to be a series of separate projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 19, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

Will London Build Any More New Tube Lines?

In this post, by Tube, I mean one of London’s narrow-bore Underground lines like the Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

Tube Lines And Crossrail

Yesterday, I rode a Jubilee Line train and after The 10:35 From Liverpool Street To Shenfield, it struck me as a cramped experience.

As I got up to leave from one of the areas of the train with metro-style seating along the train sides, I tripped all over everybody else’s feet.

Compare this to the Class 345 train on Crossrail.

You could seat basketball players either side and they’d have difficulty playing footsie, given the width of the train.

Note too the space under the seats for their kit.

And then there is the air-conditioning, which of course the Tube lines don’t have.

So what is the point of building new narrow-bore Tube lines under London? Especially, as I doubt the cost of a line is much less than the wider-bore Crossrail on a per kilometre basis.

Build extensions to existing Tube lines, by all means, as these probably have a better economic case.

The Bakerloo Line Extension

This is a portion of London’s famous Tube Map.

The Bakerloo Line Extension runs between the following stations.

It is a simple scheme to put new transport infrastructure into South-East London.

Conclusion

I doubt, we’ll see a complete new Underground line in London, built to the narrower-bore of the Tube.

 

June 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Worksites Of The Bakerloo Site Extension

Building the Bakerloo Line Extension will hopefully finish around 2028/29.

So I’m publishing these maps of the areas, that could be affected by works, so if perhaps you’re thinking of moving house, you can take an appropriate decision.

The Route

This is TfL’s latest route map between Elephant and Castle  and Lewisham stations.

ble

Note the two completely new stations with the imaginative names of Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2.

The full document is here on the Transport for London web site.

The Worksites

The sites are given in route order from the North.

Elephant And Castle

The map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines through the station.

bleeclines

The North-South lines across the map are from West to East.

 

  • The Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line – Dated 13/09/1926
  • The Bakerloo Line – Dated 05/08/1906
  • The Bank Branch of the Northern Line.
  • Thameslink to Blackfriars and Orpington, Rainham, Sevenoaks, Sutton and Wimbledon.

Just below this map is Kennington station, where the two branches of the Northern Line meet and will divide to Morden and Battersea Power Station stations.

Elephant and Castle is effectively two separate stations at present, with one for the Bakerloo Line and one for the Northern Line. Both stations have lifts and narrow, dingy platforms and passageways. Connections between the two stations underground is not good.

These pictures of Elephant and Castle station were taken on February 12th, 2017

Works envisaged at Elephant and Castle station include.

  • A new larger ticket hall for the Bakerloo Line
  • Wider platforms for the Bakerloo Line
  • Escalators aren’t mentioned, but would probably be included for the Bakerloo Line
  • New ticket hall for the Northern Line
  • Three escalators and more lifts for the Northern Line to provide step-free access.
  • Better connections between the two lines.

I would hope that a comprehensive design would include a step-free link to the Thameslink station.

I suspect, that the two stations could be rebuilt as two separate projects, with the Northern Line station being updated before the Bakerloo Line station.

If the two projects were properly planned, I believe that trains could continue to run on the Northern Line throughout the works, with trains running to the Bakerloo Line platforms until they needed to be closed for updating and connection to the new tunnels.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see an updated pedestrian connection between the Bakerloo and Northern Line platforms created first, so that at least one entrance to the platforms is available throughout the works.

This Google Map shows the area around Elephant and Castle.

Eephant And Castle

Eephant And Castle

Transport for London have said they need a worksite in the area.

Bricklayers Arms

Bricklayers Arms is known to many as a roundabout and flyover on the A2 into London.

This Google Map shows the roundabout.

Bricklayers Arms

Bricklayers Arms

It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.

These pictures of Bricklayers Arms were taken on February 12th, 2017.

The worksite could be in the middle of the roundabout.

Faraday Gardens

This Google Map shows the South-East corner of Faraday Gardens.

Faraday Gardens

Faraday Gardens

It is one of two possible locations for a shaft that will be needed between Elephant and Castle and Old Kent Road 1 stations.

These pictures of Faraday Gardens were taken on February 13th, 2017

The worksite could be in the a hard playground.

My personal view is that the Bricklayers Arms site is the better from a working point of view, but is it in the best position?

Old Kent Road 1 Station

This Google Map shows the area, where Old Kent Road 1 station will be located.

Old Kent Road 1 Station

Old Kent Road 1 Station

There are two options given for the location of the station.

Note the Tesco Southwark Superstore in the middle of the map, with its car park alongside.

  • Option A for the station is on the other side of Dunton Road and slightly to the North West of the car park.
  • The other Option B is on the Old Kent Road on the site of the store itself.

These pictures of the area around the Tesco store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

The group of people most affected by the construction of the station will be those who shop at this Tesco.

I suspect that given the company’s current position, Tesco would be happy to co-operate with TfL. After all there must be advasntages in having a superstore on top of an Underground station.

If the Tesco Superstore had to be knocked down, there are lots more anonymous architectural gems like this one.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Option B implemented, with a brand new station alongside the Old Kent Road.

Old Kent Road 2 Station

There are two options for this station.

This Google Map shows the location of Option A opposite B & Q.

Option A For Old Kent Road 2 Station

Option A For Old Kent Road 2 Station

The station will be on the the Currys PCWorld site along the road.

These pictures of the area around the Currys PCWorld store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

This Google Map shows the location of Option B on the Toys R Us site on the other side of the Old Kent Road.

Option B For Old Kent Road 2 Station

Option B For Old Kent Road 2 Station

These pictures of the area around the Toys R Us store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

Both chosen sites would appear to have plenty of space and wouldn’t require the demolishing of any housing.

Note that the Toys R Us stored was closed in April 2018. Did Transport for London rewrite their plans and are they in negotiation for the now-vacant site?

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate station is an existing Overground and National Rail station.

This Google Map shows the station and the Retail Park, that is alongside the station to the West.

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate Station

These pictures of the area around the Sainsburys store were taken on February 12th, 2017.

The worksite would take over the car park, with the station being built underneath.

This worksite is very much the most important site of the extension. The consultation says this.

The size of the proposed site provides several opportunities for the project. It could allow soil to be taken away by train rather than using local roads. We could also start the tunnel machinery from this site.

When the station is completed, I can envisage New Cross Gate becoming an important transport hub, with a quality shopping experience.

Alexandra Cottages

Alexandra Cottages, a short road off Lewisham Way has been proposed as the location of a shaft between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.

This Google Map shows the location.

Alexandra Cottages

Alexandra Cottages

I suppose the site has been chosen, as the site contains a Big Yellow Self Storage facility and a Ladbrokes betting shop.

These pictures of the area around the storage facility were taken on February 13th, 2017.

Will the shaft be buried in the basement of a development suitable for the area?

Lewisham Station

This Google Map shows the current Lewisham station.

blelewisham

These pictures of the area around the Lewisham station were taken on February 13th, 2017.

The new Bakerloo Line station will be underground between the station and Matalan. The area is currently bus parking.

Because of the different levels and tunnels and some railway arches in good condition, the addition of the Bakerloo Line station could be a challenging one, but also one that could be architecturally worthwhile.

Consider.

  • Is the current station built on arches, that could allow passengers to circulate underneath?
  • Could escalators and lifts connect the main line and ?Underground stations?
  • Could there be significant oversite development on top of the station?
  • Could the Bakerloo Line station be built without a blockade of the current station?
  • Will Lewisham station be reorganised to be less of a bootleneck?

It will be interesting to see the final design.

Wearside Road

This Google Map shows the worksite in Wearside Road, which will be used to create a shaft to the overrun tunnels.

blewearside

The multi-track line going North-West to South-East is the South Eastern Main Line, whilst the line going South-West to North-East is the Hayes Line.

The worksite will go at the Northern end of the light-coloured area South of where the two lines cross.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in the area.

lewishamlines

I think it is quite likely that the overrun tunnels will be under the Hayes Line.

Extension To Hayes

This document on the Lewisham Borough Council web site is a must-read document, as it gives the view of the Council and their consultants; Parsons Brinckerhoff about the Bakerloo Line Extension.

The report is very much in favour of the Extension being built and it hopes that it can be extended using the Hayes Line, where the trains would terminate at  either at Hayes or Beckenham Junction stations.

Currently, Elephant and Castle station handles 14 tph, so as there would appear to be no terminal platform at that station, at least this number of trains will connect between the Bakerloo Line at Lewisham station and the Hayes Line..

But as other deep-level tube lines handle more trains, with the Victoria Line handling 36 tph by the end of this year, I don’t think it unreasonable to expect a service frequency in excess of 20 tph.

The Wikipedia entry for the New Tube for London is quoting 27 tph.

So could this give at least 10 tph to both Southern terminals?

To handle 10 tph, I think it reasonable to assume that two terminal platforms are needed.

Hayes has two platforms, but Beckenham Junction has only one spare platform, as this Google Map shows.

beckenhamjunction

But I suspect if Waitrose are reasonable, a deal can be done.

If the overrun tunnels at Lewisham station,are more-or-less under the Hayes Line, these tunnels would be easily connected to the Hayes Line in the following manner.

 

, with all other services using the Courthill Loop to go on their way.

Hayes station would swap its two tph services to both Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations for at least a 10 tph service on the Bakerloo Line.

I also think, that services could go direct between Hayes and London Bridge, Cannon Street or Charing Cross using the Ladywell Loop.

Beckenham Junction would have a similar service and I’m sure this would please Lewisham Borough Council.

Network Rail would gain four paths per hour through Lewisham station to use for other services.

Lewisham Borough Council also suggests the following for the Hayes Line.

They are certainly forcible in what they want.

Conclusion

This extension, looks like it is a railway designed to be built without too much fuss and objections.

Most of the worksites seem to have good access and it would appear that few residential properties will be affected.

 

 

February 10, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Build A Step-Free Access Ramp For A Train

This new ramp or Harrington Hump, has been built on Platform 1 at Canonbury station.

I didn’t use it, as I was going the other way.

It looks to be a very good design.

  • Like all the best designs, it is simple.
  • It is double-ended.
  • It’s a gentle slope to ascend to train level, with no steps to trip on.
  • It’s got seats to prop yourself on.
  • It’s got a rail to hang on to.
  • Those with poor eye-sight wouldn’t miss it and trip over.
  • I suspect any sensible local builder could build one of these, from a kit of parts and instructions on a page of A4.

It looks to me like it is one of those classic engineering designs, that was developed using copious amounts of real ale, with everything written down on the back of fag-packets and used envelopes.

After my musings on dual-height platforms for the Bakerloo Line Extension, in How Will They Build The Bakerloo Line Extension?, I think that a modified version could handle the problems at stations on the Northern reaches of the Bakerloo Line, where 1972 Stock and Class 378 trains, share a platform.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line

At Queen’s Park station, the Bakerloo and Watford DC Lines join as they go towards Watford Junction station.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Queen’s Park station.

Lines Through Queen's Park Station

Lines Through Queen’s Park Station

Note how there is a cross-platform interchange between the two pairs of lines.

Northwards from Queen’s Park station, the platform height is a compromise, with a step down into an Underground 1972 Stock train and a step up into Class 378 train.

  • It is not level access by any means and very difficult for wheel-chair users or those pushing buggies or heavy wheeled cases.
  • I suspect that at some point it could even be illegal under disability regulations.
  • With a more intense service, loading and unloading trains may become a seriouscause of delay.

It is not just a would-like, but a must-have.

Queens Park station though, is totally level.

The current five-car Class 378 trains are 100 metres long, which compares with the 113 metre length of the 1972 Stock train.

One way to solve the platform height issue, would be to have a dual height platform with one end of the platform level access for the 1972 Stock and the other for the Class 378 train.

This would probably need a platform of the order of 215 metres.

But London Overground have ordered a set of four-car Class 710 trains for the Watford DC Line. These trains will be perhaps 80 metres long, as the type will be shared with the shorter platforms of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

This shorter length train should make the design of a dual-height platform acceptable to all users a lot easier.

Currently Off Peak services through Willesden Junction are as follows.

  • 3 trains per hour (tph) from Euston to Watford Junction – London Overground
  • 9 tph on the Bakerloo Line.

Some sources mention that there are ambitions to run 27 tph on the Bakerloo Line. So even if all the trains went through to Watford Junction, that would only mean 30 tph stopping at stations on the line.

Currently, 2 tph on the Bakerloo Line turnback at Queen’s Park station, so it looks like with good deual-height platform design, the current schedule of three tph on the Overground, stopping at South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road can be continued and supplemented with perhaps 18-20 tph on the Bakerloo Line North of Queen’s Park station.

Platforms could be about 180-200 metres long, with a height to fit the Bakerloo Line trains. At one end they would have an 80 metre section of platform to suit the Class 710 trains.

The Class 710 trains would obviously be wheelchair friendly, like the current Class 378 trains, but they would be designed to fit a typical station on the Watford DC and Gospel Oak to Barking Lines.

If Class 378 trains were also providing services on the line, they would use their selective door opening to use the four-car raised section of the platform.

So, if the stations were to be given lifts to fit the new dual-height platforms, the service would have the following characteristics.

  • Totally step-free and level access at all stations for all trains.
  • South Hampstead and Kilburn High Road stations would keep their current service.
  • Most stations would have an increased service.
  • 27 tph through the central section of the Bakerloo Line would be enabled.

The biggest problem would be walking or pushing to the right end of the platform for your train, at stations served by both size of train.

 

 

 

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

How Will They Build The Bakerloo Line Extension?

I ask this question, as my trip yesterday to Redbridge station, got me thinking.

Wanstead, Redbridge and Gants Hill stations share several characteristics.

  • They are built under a main road.
  • They are architecturally significant, with two being designed by Charles Holden.

During the Second World War, they were part of an underground factory for Plessey.

It strikes me that as the route of the Bakerloo Line Extension, will for some way, lie under the Old Kent Road, with two stations currently called; Old Kent Road 1 and Old Kent Road 2, that the section of line could be similar in nature to the Redbridge stretch of the Central Line.

This map shows a route.

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

Bakerloo Line Extension Map

I’m sure, that they’ll come up with better names, on their initial route to Lewisham, via New Cross Gate.

This Google Map, shows the route of the Old Kent Road from Bricklayers Arms to New Cross Gate station.

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms To New Cross Gate

Bricklayers Arms is at the North-West corner of the map and New Cross Gate station is the South-East.

To my naive mind, the route would be one that an experienced Tunnelling Engineer would find attractive.

  • Elephant and Castle station is not far to the West of Bricklayers Arms.
  • The current Bakerloo Line station at Elephant and Castle points vaguely East, so could probably be connected to under Bricklayers Arms.
  • The tunnels could go under the Old Kent Road between Bricklayers Arms and New Cross Gate.
  • The tunnels could go under the railway between New Cross Gate and Lewisham stations.
  • The Extension could terminate in two deep-level platforms under the current Lewisham station.
  • The Old Kent Road is lined with supermarkets and large out-of-town stores like Asda, B & Q, Sainsburys and Toys R  Us.

But possibly above all, the extension could probably be built without causing too much disruption to existing infrastructure.

I’ll look at a few issues in a bit more detail.

Cut And Cover Or Bored Construction

Some European nations would build the extension using cut and cover methods, but then we’re the tunnel kings!

As there has also been improvement in the tunnel boring machines over the last twenty years, I would expect that a big hole will be dug somewhere and then the main tunnels will be bored out, as is being done on the Northern Line Extension.

The choice of the main tunneling site will depend on several factors.

  • Sufficient space.
  • Good road or rail access to get heavy equipment to the site.
  • Away from sensitive areas for noise.

Probably the most difficult problem, is getting the tunnel spoil out.

Although there are plenty of large sites along the Old Kent Road, look at this Google Map of New Cross Gate station.

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate Station

Note that next to the station is a large Sainsburys. The supermarket group has form in co-operating with large rail infrastructure projects, in that their Whitechapel superstore was virtually rebuilt to make space and access for Crossrail.

So could we see the same co-operation here?

New Cross Gate Station

New Cross Gate station is the middle interchange on the Bakerloo Line Extension.

If as I speculated above, Sainsburys co-operate, I think we could see a rebuilt superstore growing into a more important shopping centre with good rail and tube access.

Consider.

  • Trains between London Bridge and Surrey call.
  • East London Line trains call.
  • Thameslink trains will soon be passing through at speed.
  • Around a dozen bus routes pass the station.
  • There would probably be space for housing above the development.

So could we see New Cross Gate station growing into a major transport interchange?

Yes! Especially, if Thameslink called at the station!

Lewisham Station

Lewisham station has been proposed as the terminus of the Extension.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines in through the station.

Lines Through Lewisham

Lines Through Lewisham

Lewisham station has one of those layouts designed by Topsy.

Perhaps for now, the best solution would be to just add a couple of deep-level platforms to create a new terminus for the Bakerloo Line.

Consider.

  • Transport for London are planning at least 36 trains per hour (tph) between two underground two platform terminals on the Victoria Line.
  • Battersea Power Station station is being built like this.
  • I doubt the extension will need a depot South of Elephant and Castle station.

Lewisham station would be rebuilt to provide a high capacity interchange between all services at the station.

The Bakerloo Line Train Frequency

Wikipedia says this in the Current And Future Infrastructure section of the Bakerloo Line.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.

So when the Extension is built, it would seem logical that the line could be rebuilt for 27 tph.

The Northern Section Of The Bakerloo Line

If the Bakerloo Line is extended to the South, then it would seem logical that the Northern end should be improved to take the increased number of trains, which share a lot of the line to Watford Junction with London Overground.

Platform Height Issues

At some station on the Northern section to get in to and out of the Bakerloo  Line 1972 Stock trains, is quite a step and it would be difficult in a wheel-chair.

I have covered this in Platform Height Issues On The Watford DC Line and feel that dual-height platforms could be used.

Onward From Lewisham

Most proposals for the extension of the Bakerloo Line, envisage the line taking over one or both of the terminals on the Hayes Line.

Wikipedia has a section on the current proposal.

This is said.

In December 2015, Transport for London announced that the Old Kent Road option was indeed its preferred route, and proposed taking the line as far as Lewisham, which it said could be running by 2030. Proposals for a further extension beyond Lewisham, such as to Hayes and Beckenham or Bromley, would now be considered in a separate phase in the more distant future.

But I do wonder, if extensions to Hayes and Beckenham Junction could be less necessary than they were a few years ago.

  • The construction of a Camberwell station on Thameslink is being considered.
  • Good design at New Cross Gate and Lewisham could improve connections for passengers on the Hayes Line.
  • The extra capacity across the South Bank and through London Bridge, must benefit passengers from the Hayes Line.
  • Elmers End station is getting an improved Tramlink service.

Bear in mind too, that Transport for London now have much better statistics from which to plan new connections and lines.

How would the following smaller projects on various wish-lists affect services South from Lewisham?

  • Better links connecting to Abbey Wood station in addition to Crossrail.
  • A decent connection between Catford and Catford Bridge stations.
  • Interchanges at Brockley and Penge on the East London Line.

Could they even kick extension of the Bakerloo Line in the Hayes direction into at least the 2040s?

The Issue Of Bakerloo And National Rail Trains Sharing Tracks

If the Bakerloo Line is to be extended past Lewisham on the Hayes Line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction, you have the problem of two types of train with different characteristics.

  • First Class is not available on the Underground.
  • Platform height can be matched to the train, to give level access.

Restricting the Bakerloo Line Extension to deep-level platforms at New Cross Gate and Lewisham, avoids the sharing issues, by keeping the two sizes of train separate.

  • Bakerloo Line trains terminate at Lewisham.
  • Good interchange must be provided between the Bakerloo Line and National Rail trains.

Obviously, by the correct design of the deep-level platforms at Lewisham, extension of the Bakerloo Line to somewhere suitable in the future is not ruled out.

 

The Northern And Bakerloo Line Extensions Are Similar

The similarity between the two extensions is very strong.

  • The Northern Extension adds two stations and the Bakerloo adds only four.
  • Both extensions are reasonably short.
  • Both extensions start at an existing station.
  • Both extensions could end in similar underground two-platform terminals.
  • Both extensions might be extended further.

So could the Bakerloo Line Extension be an ideal follow on project for the Northern Line Extension?

And after that, there are other follow-on projects, where provision for extension has been left.

  • Extending the Northern Line Extension from Battersea Power Station to Clapham Junction.
  • Extending the Bakerloo Line Extension to wherever is needed.
  • Extending the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich and Charing Cross.
  • Extending the DLR from Bank
  • Extending the Victoria Line to Herne Hill.

Could the relative success in getting such a good start on the Northern Line Extension, with hardly any controversy or disruption have influenced Transport for London to bring forward the Bakerloo Line Extension.

Perhaps with even the same team!

Conclusion

I feel that the Bakerloo Line extension will be built in a very similar way to the Northern Line Extension.

The more I dig, the more I like the plan for the extension and think it is right for project management reasons to bring it forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment